For most teams accruing 15 penalties in a football game adds up to a defeat. For the Fenton Bison it was a side note on their march into the postseason.
On senior night Fenton defeated the Elmwood Park Tigers 14-0 at Meneguin Field in a Metro Suburban Conference showdown on Friday.
The visiting Tigers fumbled the opening kick of the game which was recovered by senior Gervonta Walls. Fenton (6-2, 1-2) immediately capitalized by scoring 21 seconds into the game on a 2-yard touchdown run by quarterback Sean Havlovic. After converting on a 2-point pass, the Bison took the lead 8-0. Havlovic took matters into his own hands in the first quarter, racking up 48 yards rushing and 37 yards in the air.
Contrary to its typical spread-offense air game, Fenton showed a different side to its game by piling up yards on the ground, led by its senior signalcaller.
"There were big gaps and I just tried to take the opportunities that I had and get some first downs," Havlovic said.
Fenton continued its offensive dominance but were held back by penalties. Two Fenton touchdowns on one series were negated by yellow flags.
After marching down the field on a 12-play drive to the Tigers' 1-yard line, the Bison were stuffed at the goal line.
Havlovic connected with his receiving core in the first half but the Bison couldn't put any more points on the scoreboard.
Elmwood Park (3-5, 0-4) couldn't get anything going in the first half and was limited to 27 total yards.
The second half saw both teams unable to generate much offense until 10:15 in the fourth quarter when Havlovic threw to senior Alan Geneva who bobbled the pass, then tucked the ball in and sprinted down the right sideline for a 52-yard touchdown.
Both defenses tightened up during the increasingly wind-chilled game.
"I am very happy about our defense," said Elmwood Park coach Luis Arroyo. "They really came to play today."
Next weekend Fenton takes on conference rival Riverside-Brookfield, which will be a vital game for the Bison, determining what seed they will earn in the playoffs and possibly a home game to start the postseason.
"The only team we fear on our schedule is our own team," said Fenton coach Mark Kos, referencing his team's chances next week and in the playoffs. "Once we realize that it is a 'we' and not a 'me' thing, I think we are capable of doing great things that will leave an everlasting impression on this football program."